March 26, 2006
When most people look at my ipod and scroll through the artists they generally look baffled because they don’t recognise any of them. Of course the number of podcasts I listen too would confuse any music fan, but the fact is that my music taste isn’t mainstream. So imagine my delight (and surprise) at finding at my local record shop in Brighton’s North Laine a “We recommend” display containing all my current faves including albums that I want to buy: Sufjan Steven’s (Illinoise) and Cat Power (The Greatest). I also get confirmation that I’m not a wierdo cos I don’t know anyone (except fkr) who has heard of any of these artists.
But money’s tight at the moment so I thought I would check prices on the net first. When I got home I had been thinking about these recommendations and thought I would check out Cat power on Music Plasma (click here for the results). The results are also a delight to me, I get a high concentration of my fave artists on the same page, rather than the normal needle in a haystack.
I’m going to go back to the record shop to buy Sufjan’s Illinoise, because there’s hardly any saving and I want it in my greasy hand now – plus I want to check out the recommendations again (this time I’ll take a pencil). But I listened to snippets of Cat Power’s “The Greatest” on Amazon and frankly was dissappointed. She has recorded with various favourite Memphis artists and it doesn’t have that sparse emotional feeling that is what I like about her so I pass, I’m going to try Devendra Banhart (listen here) – born in Venezuela, or was it the shades of Jeff Buckley AND Caetanc Veloso that clinched it for me?
btw. I bought the tickets for Imogen Heap and Terry Callier Concerts there too, its a cracking place.The web links are to Amazon.com and not the UK site because you don’t need real player to listen to the clips of the tracks.
March 24, 2006
Went to see Terry Callier on Thursday Night (23rd March) at the Old Market in Hove. It was so wonderful to see such an amazing artist in such an intimate venue. Plus his band were really cooking with Jim Mullen on Guitar and Bosco d’Olivera on Drums.
Terry Callier is often categorized as Jazz and with this line up it is easy to see why, they moved effortlessly into Jazz from ‘simple’ songs and back. More than anything it feels like you are watching a true carrier of the blues heritage, not just in a musical sense, but a spirtual way too. The message is strong. Amen.
- Sorry this got published late late late
March 22, 2006
I’m trying to get podcasting happening at my school but at the moment it seems to be the teachers who are more interested than the kids. I have support from Media, Drama, ICT, English and Business Studies plus the school’s marketing manager. But I’ve hung around for 3 weeks now after school on Thursdays and although kids have popped in, no one has stayed to do anything.
I want to follow a similar concept to what I did in an after-school club last year before I decided to do teacher training. This approach involves setting up a new catchy domain name that the kids can call their own (see BradFM.com). We’ve not even named the show yet let alone got the domain name or concept sorted.
The School has Business and Enterprise Status, and the school is crying out for this type of project. But now I’m getting to the crux of the issue: the great thing about podcasting is authentic grassroots and often subversive… if the traditional power structure of the school takes it over and starts using it as their mouthpiece then no one will listen to it. On the other hand I don’t want nasty slanderous trash being aired.
The issue of who actually controls the station is interesting. I would like to appoint a pupil editor, who would, as in a real media company, answer to me. How much/little control should I exert? Its not new issue but I haven’t quite decided how to play this yet.
(sorry I forgot to publish this earlier)
March 19, 2006
I am sceptical about why we teach MS Access to children. For almost all practical purposes (such as the Club database that we are doing) people use Excel to manage their data. It’s difficult to get kids to appreciate the importance of data types and field lengths when they could just put the data straight into Excel and have it recognised automatically. Then why use the clumsy Access Query interface when Excel’s Data Filters are much more intuitive.
With the ability to produce data entry forms in Excel another reason for using a database: the ability to stop users from breaking it bites the dust too. Its only when you need relational database functionality that Access becomes useful. Try explaining that to 12/3 year olds. In fact in the GCSE database course work that I am supervising at the moment they still aren’t onto relational databases.
For me it would be better to look at the impact of databases and data protection and not pretend that we are applying that knowledge when we use Access to store an address database. From my experiences in the work place even the most able users don’t understand why you would use Access and not Excel, and they find its not really worthy their while to learn it. I think I wasted a lot of time with Access before I actually went away and learned my relational database theory. I think its best to leave database building to the computer scientists and not users of ICT.
March 17, 2006
I was listening to a Radio 1xtra podcast call fit club. And I realised that all the technology involved for monitoring heart rate, oxygen intake, work done etc would be great for the datalogging part of ICT (instead of monitoring a weather station). And the links with PE and Physics and Biology (ie more than one part of Science) would be great.
Plus you start gettting kids to think about their fitness… Might be a little cruel for those on the chubby side tho.
Link to 1xtra podcast
March 8, 2006
I was checking Imogen’s MySpace and found out that a cellist called Zoe Keating is supporting the Brighton Gig on April 5th. The technique is very similar to Bela another loopy cellist (see my post from October) but from the samples on the web site, slightly less less angry.
Check out this video clip of the song TetrisHead beautiful music beautiful visuals (and nice web design too).
I wonder if Bela will be at the gig? She responded to my last posting, so Bela looking at your schedule it actually fits in quite nicely for you.
March 7, 2006
No generation in history has ever been so thoroughly prepared for the industrial age.
20 Cents Worth
You know how I like my industrial and information age comparisons